April 9th, 2020
"I started thinking about the fact that if service agencies had to close, we have so many veterans in our community who rely on these other organizations for food and essentials and that it could get more difficult for them to get what they need if things started closing,” said Stefanovic.
He reached out to the veteran community with a plea: please help.
And they delivered. Over the past two weeks, local American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars posts and individuals have donated well over $3,000 in non-perishable food and supplies and more than $1,500 in grocery gift cards to the effort.
"Some neighborhoods have done food drives, and once the word got out, random people have called me up saying they want to help,” said Stefanovic. "I've been driving all over the place picking stuff up from people.”
So far, Stefanovic has been able to help more than two dozen families with deliveries of groceries and gift cards to cover other necessities.
He's hoping to help many more.
"Any veteran or family member of a vet can contact us and they can either come and get stuff, or we will bring things out to them,” he said. "We can provide a week to two weeks of supplies and gift cards.”
And with the continuing generosity of Monroe County residents, Stefanovic is sure he'll be able to keep up with the needs.
"You always want to think the community is going to respond like this during a time of crisis, but you don't know until the crisis happens,” said Stefanovic. "It's a great thing to see the community respond in the way you would want. It's just been overwhelming and the calls with donations just keep coming in.”
To request assistance, email Stefanovic at [email protected]
Non-perishable food donations are also being accepted at Veterans Service Agency, 125 Westfall Road.